HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas (KWTX) Members of the family of a teenager killed in a hit-and-run in August 2016 in Harker Heights say they hold no ill will for the man charged in the deadly accident, but want justice done.
Richard Anthony Salinas, 36, of Copperas Cove, was arrested late Friday afternoon.
He remained in the Bell County Jail Monday charged with accident causing injury.
His bond is set at $1 million.
Parker James Leporin-Vazquez, 16, was struck at around 5:30 a.m. on Aug. 19 as he and another person walked along the side of the road in the 600 block of East Central Texas Expressway
He later died at Scott & White Medical Center in Temple.
The driver of the dark-colored SUV that struck the two didn’t stop, police said.
The SUV was stopped and seized as evidence on Aug. 22, 2016.
The driver was identified, but police didn’t indicate that an arrest was made.
“Parker's life was cut short at only 16 years old,” the teen’s family said in a statement Monday.
“Our family has had to learn to live without him for the last year and a half. His friends have had to learn to live life after witnessing this tragic event. We have all had the same question. Why?”
“We all know accidents happen, that's what makes them accidents. We don't believe that anyone set out that day with the intentions of hurting our son. However, in that moment that our son was hurt we cannot understand how someone could just drive away and leave him dying on the side of the road,” the family said.
“It would have only taken a moment to stop, to check on Parker and the other children there. See if someone was injured, to render aid, and call 911. That one moment of action or inaction as it was, changed the entire event. Instead of just being a horribly tragic accident, we have had to wonder for the last year and a half who could hurt our son, and why would they do this.
“We hold no ill will for the person who did this, we only want to see justice done. We can only hope that everyone will remember that our family is not the only family to be effected by this, and to please be respectful to everyone involved.”